Ways to Boost Online Orders Without Hurting Your Dine-in Experience
The online ordering phenomenon that has gripped the United States in recent years shows no sign of slowing. While that is great for business, especially in light of a Deloitte survey showing that online customers spend 20% more on their orders, it has created a notable dilemma for restaurant owners.
With more than 25% of Americans placing one or more takeout orders each week, it is important for restaurant owners & managers to boost online orders without compromising your dine-in experience.
While overhauling your entire menu to cater to online ordering isn’t realistic, there are other steps you can take to ensure you’re making the most of this emerging trend without impacting the quality of food and service that you give to dine-in customers. Start with these four simple steps, and you’ll be well on your way to crafting an online presence that doesn’t sacrifice your dine-in experience.
Integrate with Third-Party Online Ordering & Delivery
Consumers now expect delivery options at their favorite restaurants, but many small restaurants have to turn to third-party delivery options like GrubHub or Uber Eats to meet the demand. By utilizing third-party online ordering and delivery solutions, restaurants can offer a valuable service that would otherwise be impossible because of staffing demands.
Integrate Internal Systems
Online ordering systems should be fully integrated with in-house analytics. That way, you can still track loyalty points and reward your VIP customers whether they’re dining in or ordering out. Without this capability, customers who value earning free rewards because of their steady patronage will find another restaurant that offers it.
Collect Lots of Analytical Data from Your Online Orders
With the right apps, online orders can be a goldmine of analytical data for restaurant owners. From calculating how many tables are likely to be filled on a given night to illustrating which discounts and offers create the greatest customer response, restaurant owners should rely on third-party online ordering apps to provide insights that might otherwise remain invisible. Once in your possession, you can use this information in direct marketing campaigns.
Create a Separate Entrance for Takeout or Delivery Orders
Diners seated at a table adjacent to the door for takeout/delivery orders can have an unpleasant experience on particularly hot or cold nights if that door opens 50-60 times during their meal. That could turn those diners into former customers. To avoid such a scenario, create a separate entrance for takeout/delivery orders that ensure your dine-in guests do not suffer because of online orders.
Consider other solutions as well. A great example is the shelving units used by San Diego-based Luna Grill. In addition to matching the look of your restaurant, a shelving unit for pickup orders located near the counter organizes online orders and improves pickup efficiency. Without question, online orders are essential for a restaurant's long-term profitability. By taking the above steps to craft a robust online ordering system without impacting the experience of dine-in customers, you’ll be setting your restaurant up for success.